Wandsworth Council has urged the Government not to postpone its decision on airport capacity until 2015.
All sides of the argument agree that postponing the decision about how to expand aviation capacity around London is a mistake, and that getting moving on expanding the number of flights that can land around the capital is essential to keep London’s position in the global economy, and the jobs that go with that, safe.
While many businesses in West London want Heathrow to expand, Wandsworth Council says that ruling Heathrow expansion out of the debate will shorten the decision making around the other options.
They say nothing has changed since the High Court ruling in 2010 which blocked a third runway. They say the same noise, air quality and surface access constraints remain.
The council also says that a third runway at Heathrow would not provide the extra capacity the UK needs and a fresh demand for a fourth runway would quickly follow. This, according to Wandsworth, would be an environmental disaster.
Council leader Ravi Govindia said: “If extra hub capacity is required in the South East then Heathrow must be ruled out. Its site is simply too constrained and every new runway would subject new parts of London to the misery of low flying planes.
“We want the Government to bring forward the timetable for the Davies Commission, remove the Heathrow expansion option from consideration and focus on a review of capacity at other locations in the southern half of the country that can be within easy reach of the capital.”
Wandsworth Council is a founding member of the 2M Group of councils opposed to Heathrow expansion. This all-party alliance includes more than 20 local authorities. In 2010 the group led a successful High Court challenge against the previous Government’s plan to add a third runway. The group, which took its name from the 2 million residents of the original 12 authorities, now represents a combined population of 5 million people.
What’s your view on the aviation expansion debate? Take our two minute Aviation Capacity Survey